Tekmira riding another company's Ebola wave

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals' (TKMR -1.1%) Ebola-stoked up move may be stalling. Shares are showing a bearish reversal in early trading. Prices have retreated 15% from the intraday high of $16.87 on a massive 14x surge in volume.

The two U.S. aid workers infected with the virus were treated with an experimental drug that was rushed to Africa. One of the workers improved dramatically one hour after dosing. The problem for Tekmira bulls is that the drug was supplied by privately-held Mapp Biopharmaceuticals. Some observers believe this may lessen the FDA's motivation to lift the clinical hold on the company's Phase 1 healthy volunteer trial.

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Comments (5)
  • zeikette1
    , contributor
    Comments (85) | Send Message
    if , after one dose of the privately held "treatment" made one person feel better within HOURS , How come the Ebola virus is still Active at all anywhere in the world? Why has no one else supposedly been "treated" with this "wonder drug?"I think it is a lot of political push and pull , i,m sure , but i ,m not sure i can believe this piece of "news". Ebola has been a problem for ages. why is there now all of a sudden a "treatment" by a privately held pharma Co , that can cure it ? hmmmmm. I smell something.
    4 Aug 2014, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • ShortSlaver
    , contributor
    Comments (85) | Send Message
    There's a few treatments that have been in development for years. These things take a long time to develop and the only group that would bother to fund this research is the government. They haven't given a lot to fund it but may pick up the pace now.


    Some drugs have been tested on humans, such as Tekmira's, but they take a lot of time to come to market. The one used on the doctor's has not shown the same efficacy in Primate testing that Tekmira's has and Tekmira is way ahead. But their management is not very opportunistic and should have plowed ahead with this - especially since their drug was recently put on clinical hold.


    In desperate times you try desperate things. The belief is that Ebola isn't very viral yet and able to control. But it's looking less and less like that. Public hysteria may fuel for government research money into these companies.
    4 Aug 2014, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Zheng
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
    Suddenly there is a "secrete" mouse serum that 'cure" ebola?! who really believe it? RNAi from TKMR worked, and much more effective. It takes lots to time to develop an anti-infection disease. I agree the urgency will shorten the development time, but you can not say a secrete mouse serum (antibodies) used on two patients is the solution. The conclusion by some is too quick. And there is no logic that FDA would not lift the clinical hold ASAP on TKMR because they allowed two patients to use the mouse serum.
    4 Aug 2014, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • karibruce
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
    That's right Nick. I am so thankful that our two American patients have improved. But this is not a clinical trial, this is not even compassionate use (not officially anyway). You can not draw conclusions on two patients. Lenghthy clinical trials are tedious but absolutely necessary to have a scientific conclusion. (Remember Thalidomide. Must have adequate clinical trials before allowing public use of drugs). And there has been no biotech company willing to endure this expensive process without government funding. Now I hope the government wil continue to fund Mapp and Tekmira to determine if both treatments are successful. Certainly now there is impetus to spend the money on it. (Disclosure: Earned a little money on Tekmira trades, still holding about half my shares).
    4 Aug 2014, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • 911Slade
    , contributor
    Comments (136) | Send Message
    While you certainly cannot draw firm conclusions based on anecdotal use in 2 patients, this is totally unrelated to the original issue with Thalidomide.


    Thalidomide was used in pregnant women for morning sickness, a mild to moderate condition of pregnancy that is generally not life threatening. Its effects ushered in the modern age of drug review.


    This monoclonal antibody is targeting an acute illness that is otherwise 60-90% fatal and is considered very differently in regulatory review.


    Moreover, the FDA is relatively unimportant as the agent will hopefully not be used often in the USA -- this still remains an issue specific to a defined region of Africa. The governments there will likely be much more accommodating to the potential new therapy and expedited review.


    I would think that other American government agencies, like those involving defense issues will have greater interest for obvious reasons.
    4 Aug 2014, 04:55 PM Reply Like
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